As a small business owner and child care provider you will need to establish relationships with professionals to help you navigate the requirements of government regulations and the obligations that your business has to the children in your care. It is important to set up these professional relationships in advance so you know who to go with when you have a problem or need advice. Many business owners wait until they are in trouble and then are under intense pressure to find the right help at the right time. Some of the professional advisors that you may need are:
1. Attorney: You will need a lawyer to assist you with your contracts for your clients, advice for contracts that you need to sign and help you recover bad debts and of course aid you in the event of a legal dispute.
2. Accountant: Your book keeper and accountant will help you set up your books and advise you on your financial strategy. They will also help you prepare or process for you your tax forms and payments and advise you on your tax obligations
3. Insurance Agent: You will need an insurance agent that is experienced in child care coverage. Your agent should have access to a number of insurance carriers and be knowledgeable on all of the business forms of insurance coverage that your business may need from liability including molestation and abuse, property, workers compensation and employment liability. In addition, your insurance agent should serve as a resource for reducing loss at your business through risk prevention programs. Will your insurance agent assist you with a claim or will they pass you on to someone else with a claims 800 number? You need to ask these questions to insure that you have the right coverage and the right agent.
4. Banker: You will need a business banking account and there is more to it than just getting a checking account. Your business banker should serve as a resource for your business finances and be available to answer financial questions and support for loans and lines of credit.
Consultants: This is one of the most important categories because most new businesses don’t ask for help and don’t realize that they are having problems until it is too late. Someone has gone before you and experienced all of the frustrations and challenges that you experience in your business. Would it not make sense to contact someone with this experience to ask for help and advice? Knowing where to go for help is key and we will discuss resources for each professional over the next few weeks